Voyager 1 has officially left the solar system, NASA sure this time (probably)
Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday.
Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered spacecraft is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through what scientists call interstellar space – the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, the space agency said.
Voyager 1 actually made its exit more than a year ago, according to NASA. But it’s not as if there’s a dotted boundary line out there or a signpost, and it was not until recently that NASA had the evidence to convince it of what an outside research team had claimed last month: that the spacecraft had finally plowed through the hot plasma bubble surrounding the planets and escaped the sun’s influence. (AP Photo/NASA)